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Monday, September 26, 2016

An indicator of disconnection

Have you ever noticed that when you aren't feeling like yourself, your voice starts flying into your head?
When we are stressed, our energy is focused in our heads, and then we get ungrounded... the faster we get the tighter our voices get and therefore we can actually feel and hear them drifting into "head voice". A simple process is to talk slower, and work your voice down to a fuller place within you and then you can feel your energy sink down within you too, grounding you within your body.
This video is talking about this in greater detail as well as talking about finding this with your children and helping them hear their own disconnection.
Love and light!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Mantras For Mommas- a guest post and free coloring pages!

I am so to be excited to be able to present this guest blog with you. When I connected with Elly we were eager to find a way to share her work of a specially created a Mantras For Mommas Coloring
Book and Journal and she has generously included 2 pages from the book in this post.
You can download them from here
The following post is by Elly Blanco Rowe... and it embraces so many elements we usually discuss here. I'm excited to see what a perfect fit this is.
Be well and enjoy.

My goodness, as parents we are stressed and stretched beyond belief. We set these unrealistic expectations for ourselves and others. I say we because I have done the same. I grew up believing everything had to be a certain way for the outcome to be perfect. It took me a long time to figure out there is no perfect result.


We raise our children in the best way that we can but at the end of the day our toddlers will still have tantrums at the most inappropriate time our preteens will roll their eyes at us, and our teenagers will leave home to create their life.


Our children grow, and we grow with them.


After starting my coaching business, I knew that I wasn’t alone in thinking I was a horrible mother. I wasn’t alone in believing that I could no longer do for myself because my children came first. My thinking was wrong, but I knew I wasn’t alone in thinking this way.


As I brainstormed the details for my coloring book, Mantras for Mommas, I thought about all the challenging moments we face as women/mothers and all the negative conversations we have with ourselves. I realized that women don’t take time out for themselves to rest and rejuvenate because our primary concern is our children.


Yes, we need to care for our children. Yes, we need to make sure they are healthy and happy but who refills our love bucket? Who makes sure that our needs are met? Who makes certain that we are happy?


Well, I quickly realized that we need to do this for ourselves. When we do focus on loving ourselves, promoting positive self-talk and creating moments that fill our love bucket, we feel more in control of our lives so that we can make better choices.


In Mantras for Mommas - A Coloring Book and Journal, I share with you over 40 pages of images with affirmations that align with what women who are mothers face in their daily lives. The affirmations are meant to counteract the negative messages we tell ourselves while giving us a creative outlet to express our feelings. I am sharing with you two free pages for you to try:

Affirmation: “Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful.”


Affirmation: “There is no such thing as a perfect mom, but I am their perfect mom.”


I want you to use these affirmations to remind yourself that the word perfect only holds the definition we give it. What I mean is that being perfect in this world doesn’t exist, we only exist in our version of perfect lives. A perfect life for you can mean having a messy house, but tons of fun at the playground, or it can mean being a working mom who spends 3 hours of solid quality time with her children. You define what perfect means for you.


After you print your image, set aside 20 minutes for yourself. Get out your favorite coloring tools and sit in a space that allows you to be reflective. Take a deep breathe and release your breath into the page. Before you start to color, read the affirmation at the top of the page. Allow the message to sit with you for a minute or two, then begin coloring. As you color, repeat the messaging to yourself so that it vibrates with your soul as you color.

I hope you enjoy these pages. I would love to see your creations unfold; please send me pictures of your artwork to elly@chooseyoulove.com. I will post them on Instagram and my website.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

My September 2001 love story

15 years ago.
When 9/11 hit I was in Glastonbury, having been pulled to visit there on a spiritual quest. Spirit had called me and I had answered. No, really. I kid you not. I had found myself in the UK quite suddenly having said I was going out of the blue. The plan was barely out of my mouth when the money showed up by chance. So, for September 2001,  I was backpacking, writing a novel and researching a spiritual documentary program for youth I was writing for Channel 5. I’d traveled down to Cornwall only to be spiritually told in the middle of the night, get to Glastonbury on the 7am bus.
I’d gotten in the habit of listening to that calling. So onto the bus I jumped.
September 11th  I walked into the tourist board and the attendant shakily told me about the twin towers. I rushed to my hostel where I found my fellow travelers gathered around the television. The day, like for everyone in the world was a blur of phone calls, news programs and pandemonium. Life in the world had gone where we never thought it could.
I wondered what I was doing there. I promised my mom to come home as soon as I could get a ticket back (why flying seemed like the logical choice is beyond me) . I scorned my inner callings and felt mislead. However, I was still in Glastonbury, with nothing to do to help the world crisis, I finally realized  I might as well tend my soul.
I decided to shift focus the next day and take in some of the spiritual offerings Glastonbury had to offer while I was there.  I went to Yoga in an old castle like building, visited the ancient Glastonbury Abbey (where legend has Jesus visiting and helping build the first church dedicated to Mary). I planned my evening around something called the Michael Teachings and ending with a meditation class but first headed back to the hostel to grab a quick bite.
You know, being there for the initial crisis had been surreal. A sense of panic and yet loving community formed within that hostel common room. We ate food together, cried together, hugged each other and became friends.
But that next day... with the same footage being played and the same conversations circling and everyone unmoving, sitting in the same spots, waiting for new news: well it was rather eerie. We all sat in the vibration of despair and could literally do nothing to help on a global scale.
And what was stranger still was how I noticed it, and still almost got sucked in. I sat, I watched and I wondered whether I should skip the class I had planned to attend in order to stay in this space of community. But I resisted the group vibration and suddenly decided to remember Who I was and what I was there for.
I packed my bag and left.
Glastonbury is a wonderful little nook in South England, where every spiritual tradition crosses paths. It’s winding Tor, or hill, can be seen from every corner and magic is a way of life. Crystals, green men, Buddhism, Jesus and druids all walk here. Nothing is a surprise, yet nothing is taken for granted.
Meanwhile, deep in my heart, although I almost couldn’t believe it, I knew why I had been called there.
You see, over the years before, I’d always had this connection. At first it was a fairy tale, next it was a dream, a fantasy, but for the while before that day in England, I had been building the spiritual connection with a special someone. I’d never really dated, never gotten the hang of meeting someone to “see what happened.” There'd always seemed to be a glass wall between guys and me. So rather than break it down,  I’d slowly committed to a soul mate, one match for me, my twin flame. Before my spontaneous excursion, I’d imagined so much of life with him, that it felt so completely real... for all I knew, it was real.  I could feel Who He was, even though I’d never laid eyes on him. I wrote to him, sent myself too him and loved him from a space of spirit.
I had almost given up, telling Source to forget it. I’d be single and focused on now.
That as the night before the bus ride to Glastonbury at 7am.
And so, as I followed and followed my heart, I knew the direction she would surely lead me.
The spiritual meeting on the Michael Teachings was at 7pm and I figured I wouldn’t stay for the whole thing as my meditation class was at 8pm. I sat near the back, in the middle of the row, a decision which confused me because, really I was going to have to sneak out probably.
But it was too late to move. The presentation had begun.
A few minutes later footsteps came up the stairs and a man walked in sat down beside me.
The hairs stood up on my neck, but I tried to focus on the lecture.
A few moments later  I asked a question to seem engaged, but the presenter didn’t understand my point.
The man next to me finished off my thought... I turned... eyes met.... world stopped... magic.
Yes, it happened. The world stopped. And you know that flustered, try to find reality feeling after.
Woosh.
I tried to take notes, packed my notebook as the clock neared 8pm.
But that inner voice popped in again, telling me to say yes to a drink if he asked me out.
I resisted. I got ready to go. Pretending the floor wasn’t opening up under me and swallowing me up.
The lecture ended and suddenly, this gorgeous, wonderful man with the blue eyes asked me out for a drink.
I, of course, said yes.
We walked the street talking all night. The next day he took me up the Tor in the rain and to the Chalice Well. We were together from that moment on.
Within 2 weeks we were engaged, 3 weeks later I was back in Canada and late October, my “fiancĂ©” flew in to meet my family.
So, why am I telling you this story?
Well, aside from the fact that tomorrow is Fletcher Day, the day that our family celebrates my husband and I meeting as the day our family begun, but also because every day it reminds me of something; something that is a foundational point in all of my work.
We are more than these physical forms. When we connect to our highest, spiritual versions of ourselves and our source, anything is possible. Solutions flow from anywhere in ways we could never expect or plan.
Arthur O'Shaughnessy  wrote “We are the Music  Makers and we are the dreamers of dreams.”
No matter how bonded we feel to the physical reality and “facts” that are in front of us, no matter what our logical brains chatter to us all day long, especially as parents, there is a deeper source of consciousness always at work, producing magic. We have to let it flow through us. We have to allow ourselves to know it’s there.
I later could look back at our story and call the experience the law of attraction. I’d created the feeling space of connection and it was created. But, although I teach and offer tools for the law of attraction daily, although I know its power, I also don’t want to forget the mystical experience this journey was and always is. There was more than creating the feeling, there was a divine, spiritual orchestration, the sense of timelessness, where future, past and present completely combined together seamlessly and it was in the listening, the trusting, and the allowing that it could come forth; all in the perfect time.
This is a love story, but it’s also a story of potential and I’m sharing it with you today to simply remind you to allow love, light, magic and the spectacular into your life, for then it will flood every corner of it and lift you to places that you never dreamt possible.
Let your spirit soar and enjoy the sights. For that is exactly what we are here to do.


Monday, September 5, 2016

Learning to Learn- The Homeschool Balance

As a homeschooling mom, September brings something out in me. Each August I go to the school supply aisles with wonder and excitement. Each Labour day I contemplate the school year ahead and ask myself, how will it go this year?
The thing is, there’s been good years and not so good of years on our homeschooling journey. There’s been years when my daughters have felt they didn’t quite grasp what they wanted to... there’s been times I’ve felt I didn’t set them up as best as I could. Don’t get me wrong, they always learn but  it’s our own sense of satisfaction I’ve been looking for.
I’m always asked about homeschooling, especially since I work from home as well. Early on in the adventure I stressed and tormented myself... and our girls. I had the chalkboard, I had the schedule I had the workbooks. It was school... at home.
But after our son came earthside, it didn’t work as well. Oh let’s face it. Our younger daughter lived with her head in her hands. She’d hated the school regime. So we did some unschooling, we did workbooks, we had lots of experiences... and they read A LOT!
Fast forward 8 years. Each daughter has developed different curriculum suited to their learning styles. Our eldest likes to push ahead, while our younger girl was using an alternative program for math, and we compile a whole other group of resources for the other topics. This year, we’re switching it up a bit, with both girls on a guided curriculum with a daily schedule online. We’ll supplement and sometimes replace, but still, we’re going for more focused. It just feels like the right time.
And then there’s our boy-o.
For all of last year and the year before it was unschooling for him. He didn’t want to learn, he wanted to play and that was encouraged. But this year something happened: He got bored.
Now, I’m the first one to set the dial for play based learning and exploration. It’s my preferred method for myself. But there comes a time when the imagination can’t fathom where we want to go.
Sometimes as a parent we have to help the stretch by other putting out other options or resetting patterns and habits.
Following the Waldolf approach of delayed reading until 7, my son was told enough... he’s now 7.
He’s enrolled in a reading program online, and he’s starting the routine that his sisters are doing as of tomorrow.
At first, last week when we started molding our days to a school routine he fought me on it. After breakfast we all meet for yoga, and I thought our boy would pull a ligament with his lack of focus and flip-floppiness. He resisted reading practice and used every excuse in the book. It was so hard to stop myself from just saying “play. Go for it.” But we made a few deals and eased it in slowly. I wasn’t going it make it a miserable experience, but an self awareness building one. He knew he felt better with focus, but reading practice counted for a certain amount of play etc.
By the end of the day our son had a light in his eye and a skip in his step. He felt more focused and satisfied with himself. He felt taken care of and that he’d grown up a little bit more. He felt confident and ready to tackle the next day.
Which, by the way, went much better. He did yoga with intention and did the meditation exercise at the end. He asked for his reading program and complied to the practice with me. He was conscious of his own development and how much happier he felt when he had things he was working on.
He’s starting to learn how to learn and learn that learning can feel good.
So, although throughout this blog and my work I talk about feeling good and striving to help our children find the joyous connection that they naturally have, I really want to stress that sometimes we, as parents, get an off feeling and feel we have to act on something. We feel we have to take over and insist on something to expand and move forward. And, as long as it comes from a connected, happy place, spiritually, this is what our children want. But, that ol’ homeostasis works for them too, you know. 80% of themselves, will resist to any change, even if they are spiritually bored.
So if there’s one thing homeschooling has taught me it’s to stay in the moment, stay aware and listen to how things feel. If your child playing with mudpies all day feels fantastic and you get joy of watching them: it’s exactly right. If they’re still doing it 3 years later, they are feeling restless but don’t know what else to do and something feels off to you, then explore setting up something else. Help your children break their own negative habits and help them notice the process for their own awareness.

The same went for our daughter who loves to play her way through learning. This year I realized she wasn’t feeling very confident in her own knowledge and progress; out comes the new system and a bit more work. Through learning she is developing an awareness of herself, and appreciates the after effects, where she can play without that nagging feeling that she should be doing something for expansion. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Getting rid of those habits and creating new patterns



September can feel really busy, right?
Boy do I understand that one. I’m in the middle of planning curriculum and sorting out fall clothes. It’s a little hairy. But that’s why I’m really excited about Monday, because it’s a no pressure, supported way of creating patterns that authentically represent ourselves.
I know that if you are on the brink of picking up a routine, you can do two things. You can let it create itself, by just diving in and getting done what you want to get done. Or, you can consciously set some new patterns. Patterns that set you up as the person you want to be.
I mean, we all have those niggles. Those things we’d like to do, like exercise each day, or get to bed half an hour earlier or start the day with a green smoothie or meditation. It’s our own things right? But we all have things we’re putting off, meaning to start... and then not starting them. They then sit there... a little bit of a weight, which we shake our head about, wondering why we just don’t start already.
What better time to start than September? The relaxed state of summer has primed us to create a routine for fall and we’re ripe for new patterns. It’s the perfect fertile soil for the seeds of change.
And that seed can be the smallest shift... the smallest new habit. Just enough to tell ourselves and that voice of homeostasis... we mean business. We’re in charge of ourselves. It’s up to us what we do in each day and how we do it. We fall into our own patterns, but it’s up to change them if we want to.
So, the question is... do you want to take that lead? Do you want to finally do that little niggling thing, you keep beating yourself up over, each time you don’t do it?
If the answer is yes, then I really hope you join me on Monday, for my free 10 day challenge. Or maybe you’ve already signed up and  We’re going to set in motion some awesome new habit forming patterns.
And if the answer is no... then you need to ask yourself why not? Are you perfectly happy with your routine? Is everything running as smoothly, happily, mindfully, as you wish it could be?
It can be scary to finally step out of the comfort zone, especially when we can feel overwhelmed in the first place. The excuses can build up and be never ending.
 But think of that niggle as your truest self calling you forth, saying let’s make life easier with this one new step. Maybe with a little step, the busyness will be more manageable.
And on Monday, we’ll all be supporting each other and helping  each other on the way, even with just a little emoticon left in comments over on the FB group, we’ll all know we’re not alone in this shift!
Accountability and support makes all the difference. Anyway, I really hope you’ll join in.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Pursuit of Spiritually Aware Parenting

Someone asked me today what my “goal” is in the work I do, and an image flashed across my mind.
It was a pregnant mother to be walking into a spiritual bookstore in Glastonbury over in the UK.
The woman was me.
14 years ago, my husband and I were expecting our first daughter and like some excited school girl I danced into every bookstore I could find, looking for that tool, that golden compass which would help me find the spiritual path I knew pregnancy could be. Up until that point, I’d avidly gobbled up every spiritual book I could find. Before meeting my husband, I’d Marianne Williamson’d, Deepak’d and Dyer’d. I had gone old school with holy books and philosophy leaders and on the flip side, had watched Oprah until the sun went down. I’d even been a screenwriter for a spiritual television
program for children. Spirituality coursed through my veins and I’d met my husband through the most spiritual connection I’d ever experienced, using connection, the law of attraction and intuition.
It seemed like pregnancy should be the same. It felt like parenthood was a holy rite to be passed though and I wanted to meditate through labor and teach yoga to her before she could walk. She would be enlightened and know all the tools I’d been gathering for years, so her life would be golden.
But, I hadn’t counted on the fear, socially inflicted doubt and the fact that my life had sped up and I already felt I was running out of time!
I felt rushed as each trimester passed...I talked and read what I could find but I felt I would never have the quiet I craved and the more I craved it, the more I didn’t know how to savor it when I found it. I felt like a runaway train was behind me that hollered “She’s coming soon and you aren’t lined up yet. Line Up!”
My feeble attempts to have small rituals or make things sacred for our daughter, were done for my own outward show, trying to convince my fearful heart that I would “get it right”, while I really felt that  I really didn’t know what I was doing, or who she was, or who I was going to be as a mom. I wanted to enjoy that time... but it was flying by and tainted with morning sickness. I felt like I was having a shadow experience of something I wanted with all my heart.
I sometimes felt so guilty for feeling like I was failing her and she hadn’t even been born yet.
And so, I wandered into bookstores, looking for the book that hadn’t been written.
And I kept aimlessly looking for a couple of years.
2 daughters later I decided it was time to slow down and tap into the inner resources I’d known all along was within me, but I’d been too nervous to look before. I’d have to dig deeper than I ever had. I’d have to be vulnerable and push back the veil.
For some reason, I thought that parenting was something everyone had figured out already, and I should play by the rules. I might have found true love across the ocean by mere instinct and without any dating experience like everyone else. but parenting... surely I was safest following other people’s lead.
But I finally got it. I couldn’t play a role and feel authentic to myself. I couldn’t have the spiritual experience while pretending to be something else. Trying made no sense. My girls, my husband and I were going to have to live a different story. The veil had to be pulled back. The real me had to emerge.
And so it began... oh it was shaky for awhile I can tell you. The philosophy had to be invented as going, and with a daughter who had iron will, I fell back into old habits more than not. I screamed, I shouted, I guilted and I even shamefully spanked as my own reaction to the lack of control and dictatorship I had (I mean everyone else said I should be in control, was I really supposed to give that up?)
But little by little I remembered Who I was... and who I wanted to be. I remembered I was connected when I felt good, and if fighting felt bad, it wasn’t good.
So I started passing on tools to the girls as I practiced them again for myself. Exercises, games, stories, anything that could offer them emotional awareness. Homeschooling provided us with the best platform for emotional awareness lessons and life tools.
And then I got pregnant with our son.
I went back and redid pregnancy, the way I had wanted to in the first place.  I rewrote the experience and connected to the source within my son by 16 weeks. He was my eyes and ears to how the pregnancy was going. It was enlightened.
Everything rolled together and kept rolling. Our girls were learning how to feel, and to follow their hearts. They became sensitive to how the law of attraction brought in what they were feeling. They became in awe of the world around them, and integrated spirit and magic into near enough everything. The world made sense on a deeper level for them. They did yoga, and learnt how to meditate....
Scratch that... they’d always known how to be the incredible spirits that they are.
Along with our son, they taught me how to allow and move through stages rather than force them.
Behaviour became an indicator of how they were feeling about themselves not how “bad” they were and my stress was a sign that I needed to connect to ME, not to find fault in Them.
There wasn’t any pressure to pass on wisdom, I got to learn some. I got to play more, I got to laugh more.
Life finally slowed down and I could enjoy it feeling fulfilled and authentically me.
And that’s my goal for my work. I want for as many of you as possible to find ease in the chaos and speed of the day. I want you to feel so much deeper than the routine and daily chores. I want to empower children to look for the deeper route in life and to have emotional awareness, knowing themselves so they can navigate through it all. I want love, laughter and ease for everyone.
Is that too much to ask? Maybe. But not too much to try.

Its right around the corner, you know? Just pull aside the veil and see what’s there.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

5 Steps to Becoming The Parent You Want to Be

Last week I heard something that blew my mind.
Do you want to know one of the greatest parts of ourselves that hold us back?
What do you think it is? What holds each of us back from becoming the people, the parents, we want to be?
Give up?
Homeostasis.
I’ll let that penny drop for a moment.
Yeah, homeostasis. That system within ourselves that keeps us within our comfort zone... or rather the practiced zone. That system that cools us down when we are too hot and warms us up when we’re too cold. That natural system that keeps us regulated, is also the thing that prevents us from achieving our own self improvement.
Has that hit you as strongly as it did me?
I mean, I’ve always felt that. It makes complete sense. I just never saw it that clearly. I’ve always thought that as Spirits we wanted to achieve more; that we are always learning and growing. I’ve often wondered what force was behind the holding back sensation, the part of us that sighs, goes back to bed and says “I’ll start that new habit tomorrow.”
So, 80% of us wants to stay the same. I don’t mean 80% of us as a group, I mean 80% of ourselves.
We program ourselves to stay the same.
So, each time we react to our children, each time we don’t bother making a list of positive aspects, every time we see through a negative perspective or criticize another even though we feel bad about it... it’ s because there’s a huge part of us that is telling ourselves....
Don’t change. Keep the Same.
I don’t know about you... but on one side that can really upset me, I could feel hopeless and deflated.
But on the other side it empowers me to the hilt.
 Wait, that little voice that encourages me to not bother, or keeps me in my negative patterns is just myself trying to find balance and homeostasis? I can reprogram THAT!
I can now see it for what it really is. I don’t have to listen to it logically break down and convince me to just follow my spirals or bad moods. I don’t have to believe it, and I can darn well ignore it.
In fact, it makes me want to do everything differently. Call me a rebel! LOL
So, with the knowledge that a huge part of us wants to resist any change, I’ve compiled a simple list of 5 top ways of sparking the change we want to see within ourselves; From more positive parenting moments to more self care, let’s take control of our stories!

1)      Do something small. One small change practiced for 2-3 weeks. Do it at the same time every day. Try writing down 5 positive aspects about your day every night before bed. Make sure you do it EVERY NIGHT for at least 2 weeks. New habit.

2)      Support- I’ve learnt that nothing is more incredible than accountability. Share with your partner. Find a friend or group that wants to do the same thing. Tell people on a Favorite Facebook Group (Like the Spiritually Aware Parenting one)or start a group yourself. Anyway create accountability and someone will be there to remind you to keep your promise to yourself.

3)      Have a reminder. From post-its around the house to alarms on your phone do something that is going to break you out of your own sightlines. We all need reminders (remember 80% of ourselves is going to insist we forget.)

4)      Shift it around. If you usually try to clean up before having time with the kids, switch it. Play first. Have fun with it. Eat Lunch food for Dinner and dinner for lunch. Heck, try desert first. Why, because we get to choose, right? I mean you won’t know why it doesn’t work until you try it! Break small routines even just once and you can say you’ve done it. Spirit loves spontaneity!

5)      Forgive yourself. So often we fall back into bad habits and give up for a lost job. But with 80% of your mental programming telling you to give up, then you know that its just neural pathways that need re-programming. Forgive yourself, let it go and get back at it again in the morning.


Remember, our minds can be like wild animals (or chattering monkeys!)  and the best way to train them is with love and gentle guidance. Once we’ve allowed our mind to re-focus onto the direction we want, the rest is easy. It’s just that first break. That first step in control and with so many more people pursuing mindful living, you can always find the support system that works for you. So take that first step... and then take it one step at a time.